Circulation d'enfants: Du Pérou à l'Espagne/ How Children Move: A Story Between Peru and Spain
Depictions of international adoption as movement from one state to another have the effect of emphasizing the singular mobility of the child in the act of adoption, rather than before or after. In following this legal framework, researchers might underemphasize how mobility is more often the norm in children’s lives, not the exception. This presentation draws on many years of anthropological research on informal, traditional adoption in Peru and on formal international adoption to Spain, arguing that children are mobile individuals before, during, and after their adoption. It makes this argument in two sections. First, a case study of multiple, concurrent and subsequent child circulations from Peru demonstrates how the movement entailed within international adoption is one of a series of movements – large and small; temporary and permanent; local and translocal; positive, neutral and negative – that make up children’s lives. Conceptualizing adoption as a physical, spatial, and geographic movement makes new analytical moves possible: the second half of the presentation gives an example of this by analyzing a Spanish law that permits adoptive parents to legally change the birth place of their children, and showing what that fixity – as opposed to mobility – accomplishes, in light of the argument that children’s mobility is extensive and productive.